Skip to main content
4:10 pm
regularly on behalf of the federal society and other groups. he was an inaugural fellow at the washington institute. after that we have chris edwards. he is a top expert on federal and state tax and budget issues. he's testified to congress many times and his articles have appeared in "the washington post" and other newspapers. last but not least we have alex nowrasteh. he has advocated for prosperity. he was a policy analysts. his work has aweired in "the wall street journal" and he has appeared on fox news and bloomberg. i will turn the podium over to
4:11 pm
david. >> thank you and thank you to all of you for being here. it is good to have you here. my colleagues are going to talk about specific policy issues in their area of we can per tease. i'm going to open with more general, philosophical, political discussion. a lot of people believe that politics are a struggle for power and certainly if you look at history that is what politics is. it is the continuation of war by other means. it is a quest for power for your race, tribe, religion, region, whatever, your industry these days. politics is a lot about power. but we always hope that some
4:12 pm
people in the discussion of politics and policy will stand for something bigger, something broader. like the public interest, freedom and justice, the ideals of the declaration of the independence and the pledge of allegiance. we hope in washington that's what think tanks do. think tanks are separate from abstracted from the day-to-day struggles for either political power or special interests benefits from public policy. obviously, there are some who do that better than others. in the ideal of the think tank is committed to the public interest, even though we may disagree what the public interest is. some think tanks insist they don't have a world view a
4:13 pm
perspective, a political philosophy. they are just about analyzing and seeing what works. i'm in favor of that. but to define if something is working you have to define what the goals you seek to achieve. is freedom one of the goals that policy ought to enhance? is justice? is social progress? widespread prosperity? all of those things are standards that you judge whether policies work or you don't. you might have other standards. at cato we are upfront about having a perspective. it is best known as being libertarian. it could be known as professors of classic liberal or maybe just individual rights and free markets, peace, prosperity, and freedom. but libertarian is the name we get associated with most of the time. i did a book and we have a new
4:14 pm
book coming out by another scholar this fall on the system of liberty. i want to take a minute to skiss three key ideas that -- discuss three key ideas. and they under lie what scholars usually talk about. the first one is individual rights. now, classical liberals can disagree on what the source of individual rights is. some thing our rights come from god, human nature, some think from a study of history. one thing i think we all agree on is they don't come from government. they don't come from a king, parliament, or even a constitution. they are not prescribe bid any human agent. they are rights we have as human
4:15 pm
beings that are protected by and guaranteed by the constitution but not granted to us by the constitution. people get that wrong sometimes, i think. they say constitution grants me my right to free speech. no, constitution protects your right of free speech. second idea is spontaneous order. if you have taken a political theory class, you might say that individual rights is the normative theory. they say what things ought to be. there is no need to believe in individual rights or anything to recognize the fact in the world of spontaneous order. to most of us, most of the order in the world seems planned. it took a lot of planning to organize this event today. took a lot of planning to
4:16 pm
organize the c-span network. it takes a lot of planning to build automobiles, create airlines. all of the things we see in the world takes planning. why is there food in the groceries every day? you think that must be planned but, in fact, the most important order in society are not planned. they are way beyond the ability of any person or group of people to plan. that's not just a point about the economy. think about language. nobody planned the english language. it arose spontaneously it evolved just like the french language, the russian language. there are a few languages that have two things in common, they were designed by human beings, they were planned and no one speaks them.
4:17 pm
all the languages that people speak are examples of spontaneous order. law, i know we're here in the ray burn -- rayburn office building and everybody thinks they are involved in making law. the fact is, law evolves spon spontaneously. sometimes they turned to a neighbor to settle them. some of the wisest neighbors became known as judges. that's how precedent and case law built up. it was actually much into that process that government started saying let's write it down. and intrude it and change it through legislative or skeeverd. money, most people think money
4:18 pm
is something ben bernanke prints. but it evolved because again, people had problem. how do i trade? if i have a fish and you have an apple then we have an easy trade. but if i don't like apples and you have enough fish then we have to make the trade possibly among a larger group of people. again, the government took over the creation of money but they did not origin nate it. then there is -- originate it. does someone direct it? does congress instruct that food gets put in the grocery stores?
4:19 pm
>>, there is supply and there is demand. there are is this network of solving people's needs. freeman talks about how he went to china and was asked by the minister of finance or somebody like that in china, a very smart man. he asked milton freeman who is in charge of materials distribution in the united states? he said for once he is speechless? who is in charge? i thought of telling him the chicago board of trade but that is not the answer either. the answer is no one is in charge of materials distribution. the market coordinates that and that's why we have a lot of materials in the united states and they had hard i will materials in china back when they tried to plan and organize
4:20 pm
materials distribution. this was written about the spontaneous order which is the idea that experts can direct resources more efficient i will than can millions of independent decision makers. we saw that most strikingly in the communist world. the soviets could plan something more efficient than the chaos of the free marketplace. but we also see it here at home. we see back in the clinton administration they brought in him and he was going to organize the entire economy and decide what goods and services we will need in 20 years so they can be planned so we can create them. hillary clinton created a
4:21 pm
complicated health care plan that was passed by the obama administration. they also think they know that what we need is green energy. we're going to channel a lot of resources to green energy. it is not just democrats who do this. the state of virginia has been trying to plan the love lives of virginians for 100 years. they try to keep the mental feeble from reproducing, they try to keep people from different races from marrying and people from the same-sex from marrying. in the same case it is we know better than these exerts who should love, how people -- exrpt -- exrpts who--experts how we
4:22 pm
should love. we always say at cato a government of delegated and thus limited powers. we have our rights, we delegated the protection of them to a government. in the document the constitution, we enumerated what powers we were delegating to the government and by doing so we limited them. if it is not within the constitution the government can't do it. there are a few things actually delegated to the federal government and they should do those things. government is essential to a free society but it should be limited. let me say something briefly about politics. this is for the state of the union for a lot of libertarians the election results were
4:23 pm
discouraging. if elections were have gone the other way, they would still be discouraging. not a happy situation. however, there are some libertarian trends going on in america, some of which we noticed on election day. one of them is people finally starting to question the wisdom of drug prohibition, another form of central planning and intrusion into people's lives. two states voted to remove the criminal penalties of the private use of marijuana. possibly the first step to ending this century's prohibition maybe 100 years after we ended alcohol prohibition. i published a book last year it is an ebook. i can show you on the ipad.
4:24 pm
here's the cover of my book and one of the things i said was that "the washington post" did a poll of swing voters late in the election year. among other things they found out that the true swing voters, they were very picky. they asked people have you made up your mind? are you an npt? do you usually vote relationship or democratic? there was about 5% who are really open in any typical election. of those true swing voters they asked them true questions and 64% of them said they support smaller government with fewer services. 63% favored gay marriage. in some sense, if you like gay marriage you should vote for obama and if you like smaller
4:25 pm
government you should vote republican. what happens if you like both? then neither party fits well. there was another poll reported that most americans want a shrunken federal government, support for smaller government is up significantly in recent years and it marks a piveyot issue. when you ask people the poll question, do you support smaller government with fewer services? you are telling people the benefit of larger government. you are not telling them the benefit of smaller government. if you rephrase the question a little more fairly, do you support smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes? you get about another 10 points. instead of 60% you get almost
4:26 pm
70% for i prefer the one with fewer services and lower taxes. republicans have not been good at finding it but there is a constituency in america still of people who would not call themselves little bit and probably would not call themselves as liberal. but they do believe in smaller government and social tolerance. either party could go after that constituency which is a swing constituency more of the work in our book demonstrates people with those views have swung back and forth between the parties more than most. as we talk about public policy, i know people on capitol hill think about politics and i urge you the think about the possibility there is this group of libertarian leading swing voters who are up for grabs in some sense for a party that
4:27 pm
supported smaller government and social tolerance. thanks for much. [applause] >> that was great, david. i think the first time i ever heard you speak was -- i don't know if it was on the hill or not but i was an intern. i don't want to say how many years ago but every time i hear you i learn something else. or i will how to better present these ideas we believe. i'm here to talk about a long list of different policy areas. i handle constitutional law and other things related to that. i'm going to focus on traditional appointments, gun control, and continuing obamacare litigation. this is the state of the union as it were so what kind of report in my area in terms of the constitution? well, people seem to care about
4:28 pm
it. or at least know about it more than they did five, 10 years ago. increasely, people ask where do you get the power to do this? not do you as a result of v your analysis together correctly when evaluating public policies. had is good. the big one the supreme court decided in june, they adopted every argument that cato made to it. now someone else responsible for the tasking power. in terms of the law we're better off in terms of the decision. the operation was a success that the patient died. i think the constitution and constitutionism is moving along oven though the president and other members are saying things like we can't get anything done because of this constitution. sometimes you have to ignore
4:29 pm
that -- the other branches of government are not supportive so we have to do our own thing. but luckly the constitution is there and you just saw last week the d.c. circuit apellet court here throw out the appointments to the board. under that excuse that the constitution does not give the president to power to nominate things to agencies when he thinks congress is in recess. i mean, the recess appointments provision in the constitution was meant to allow the federal government to function while the senators were coming back on horseback from the fartherest western regions of the country, ohio, kentucky. it took weeks to get here so you have to have the government functioning. no, the court said you can't do that. the only recess at least count are the ones between sessions,
4:30 pm
summer doesn't count, easter doesn't count. and for only positions that became open during that period. so all of a sudden not just the nrlb but a whole bunch of appointed people their position is in jeopardy. richard at the consumer finance protection bureau was renominated official i will last week. in terms of jew dishal apointments obama made fewer nominations than bush or clinton. you may have read or heard or know that he con -- confirmed fewer judges. he sent up fewer nominations. hard to confirm judges that are not nominated. the confirmation rate was lower
4:31 pm
for bush but obama had a higher percentage of court of appeal judges. i don't know what is going on with the district judges, whether there is problem on the ground or obama is nominating them late in the cycle. then they are not getting voted on a lame duck or what have you. it is not a matter of obstructionism or people not getting hearings for that matter. hearings are about the same rate for bush or clinton. physical fewer nominees have been filibustered either successfully or unsuccessfully. president obama did not want to spend a lot of political capital on his nominees. even the ones that were higher profile he could see this could be an example of progressive, how i want to shape the court
4:32 pm
sort of view. the president did not twist any arms or use up any political capital. now after re-election, he might start doing that. of course, he also had two supreme court appointments to make which takes time and energy. i don't think that can explain the whole deal. i don't think we're going to have any more supreme court vacancies for a while. they all seem to like what they are doing. god bless her she survived cancer three times and she is the oldest one. my bet is that she resigned at some point in 2015. the big cases this term at the supreme court, there's one in affirmative action, higher education at the university of texas. we can see a decision in that
4:33 pm
probably soon. it was back in october, i think voting rights case out of alabama questioning the continuing wisdom and constitutionalty of a law, the section of the voting rights act that requires states certain jurisdiction. i'm not talking about the confederacy. to clear any election regulation be it moving your poling location from a firehouse to a schoolhouse by the federal government. it is not correlated of voting rates of minorities. so we're probably going to see the supreme court strike that down which will make waves. and of course, a couple of gay marriages are before the court. it is highly unlikely that the supreme court this term will strike down all restrictions on gay marriage, require all states to provide it. the cases they took can be
4:34 pm
decided without reaching that point. one is the defensive marriage act, section three about federal benefits that the federal government has to give certain benefits to people who are lawfully married in their state who are gay. you can see justice kennedy making the deciding vote but on the federalism grounds. without talking about fundamental rights or equal protection. then there is california's prop 8 thing. i think the most likely thing there is there is some technicality of who will can stand in the room to respect your case. that is one way to hand it on the federalism grounds while not
4:35 pm
enshrining on the constitutional rights. they are not ready to do that. moving on the what is right now, what alex is going to talk about the hottest issue and that is gun control. president obama's executive actions, there were 23 of them. they were a pleasant surprise in a certain extend. he wasn't legislating himself a ban on assault weapons or confiscating guns or anything like that. i printed out the white house statement and drew a chart and tried to tick off where their potential second amendment problems and where there are other problems. i did not find any second amendment problems. what i did find was orbleely depending on how things plan out but when they get around to writing the legislations there
4:36 pm
might be intrusions on privacy. there might be concerns about where does the federal government get off telling -- regulating certain aspects of our lives be it your relationship with your doctor or how a business runs its practices, how first responders local and state right lane to behave or what kind of plans they are supposed to put together. a couple of items macon tra dignity the laws more square squarely. obamacare forbids the collection of guns. one of the directives is to say that obamacare does not prohibit doctors from asking about guns in their home. without obamacare that is something they could do in the federal government. i looked at the language and you should as well.
4:37 pm
it seems like, for good or ill, that contradicts it. so the center for disease control is prohibited by law from conducting certain types of research that could be catergorized as advancing gun control or affecting gun policy. here one of the items is directing the c.d.c. to do research in this area. it is a technical thing. there might be lawsuits about it. we'll see how it plays out. on obama ledge slay active proposals i'm -- legislative proposals we'll see how the legislation is written. but there are background checks and there are background checks. something that is instant and takes no more than 24 hours. and checks to make sure people are not convicted felonies, violent wife beaters or have a
4:38 pm
history of mental illness. it is a good system. that is pretty good. what if it lasts weeks and weeks and it is a pretext to keep guns away from law-abiding citizens? what if it criminalizes an uncle giving his nephew his good night -- gun for the weekend. or representing it to teach economics or what have you. you can have a lot of scenarios of the transferring of guns that has no background check connecter. or i'm a collector and i want to sell my gun to another collector privately. this is not about the gun show loophole. most guns sold at gun shows are sold with a background check. that is the least controversial
4:39 pm
one. you get to high-capacity magazines. magazines are -- they have springs. the most common ones are between 10 and 20 bullets, 10 and 20 rounds. so you're going to make little boxes with springs illegal. they are going to fill the prisons as much as the gun war. the assault weapons ban. it depends on how you define that. i want on the steven colbert show. the devil is in the details. machine guns have been banned since 1934. nobody was arguing, i thought it was not controversial when i
4:40 pm
said that there are no laws from rocket launchers. if you define assault weapons asthma sheen guns, that's fine. but if you define it as a hunting rifle that can be adjusted that men and women can fire it or has a bayonet mounts on it. if those thing do not affect the caliber of ammunition, the rate of fire, or anything else if that is how you define it, i'm against that. that is not an assault weapon. that is a rifle that looks cool. we can have a toy ooze city that looks cool. if all this ignores that all of these types of solutions, not a single study show they reduce
4:41 pm
gun violence or accidents. studies by -- i don't think anyone calls this partisan, they did one of these studies and papers and books and exhaustive research and could not find these sort of gun control measures did anything other than make politicians feel good. at the end of the day, this is about mental illness, it about keeping guns away from kids and felonies living with you and things like that. indeed, in colorado after columbine passed are allegations some called gun rights they have things such as increased tort liability of negligent storage of guns, strengthening restrictions on straw purchases. also, when something is designated a gun-free zone it is
4:42 pm
a gun-free zone with armed guards at the intenses instead of putting just stickers on the wall. fundamentally, the right to carry. this will reach the supreme court in the next couple of years maybe the next year. it protects the individual rights to keep and bear arms. what does bear arms mean? in d.c., chicago, and new york, eastern places, only because the supreme court said so, you have the right to keep a gun in your home for self-defense. what if you live in a dangerous area and you're walking home at night? what if you're a small woman orman or a small person who can be over powered by thugs attacking you? any number of reasons why you would want to have a gun in your purse. in many states, such as new
4:43 pm
york, the only way you can do that is if you're a celebrity or exlaw official. unless you can demonstrate a need. you don't need just one death threat, you need several of those. that is going to be litigated. ultimately, the supreme court will make some regulation allegations if they are narrow i will tailored to minimal i will invade our second amendment but other types of rights. just like the restrictions allowed in other constitutional areas be the first or ebb fourth amendment. i will briefly mention the areas in the obama health care. they lawsuit is challenging the
4:44 pm
taxing power as chief justice roberts invented it. based on where the bill originated, based on how the power is used. we're not out of the woods on the individual mandate but beyond is the mandate tax whatever it is. i call it is unicorn tax. it will never be seen again. the independent payment advisory board of government that makes its own rules and enforces them. the contraceptive mandate, these have got an lot of press lately. you can look at cato's website. the idea that some bureaucracy some exert that understands what needs to be paid for by some taxpayer dollar than what
4:45 pm
creative desires you may have. not just for churches. my colleague can talk your ear off about an important lawsuit about oklahoma and others about i.r.s. regulations without any authority in obamacare in terms of giving subsidies of people who live in states where the states have declined to set up exchanges. the federal government is setting them up. that has a lot of cops sequence. then we're going to see -- consequences. then we have the mandate, because the choice that chief justice roberts is giving between paying the tax or buying the insurance the tax personality is not high enough so they want to up that. not only is that not authorized by law but that goes against how chief justice roberts authorized
4:46 pm
this particular tax, if it is a tax, that it does not provide an incentive to make one choice or another. i will leave it there. thank you. >> thank you all for coming today. i'm chris edwards and i'm going to talk about federal spending and budget policies. the libertarian state of the union in respect of the spending is troubled. it is expected to keep rising in the years ahead unless we make big reforms. i'm going to talk about two things. first, i'm going give you the big picture an overview of why the spending is bad for the economy. secondly, i will discuss micro economic reasons why spending on particular federal programs in our society. washington spends time worrying
4:47 pm
the big over all macro problems but does not focus on the economic problems with particular spending programs. so let me look at the big picture problem first. most exerts looking at the, experts looked a the program it is pushing the united states into a debt crisis. federal spending has jumped from 18% of g.d.p. a decade ago to 23% today. they show it rising to 40% of the economy until 2040 unless we make reform. if you add state and local spending on top of that the united states will -- the situation is much worse than that. the situation is worse than the c.b.o. shows in their regular long-term forecast. the reason is that the basic forecast does not show the negative affects on the spending
4:48 pm
and debt on the g.d.p. they assume that the g.d.p. will continue chugging along with a couple percentage a year. they do not take into account the feedback effect on this rising g.d.p. the reality what is going to happen in the future as more and more resources will be shifted from the private sector into the government sector which will reduce g.d.p. secondly, there will be major pressures to push up higher taxes. again, saw pressing g.d.p. those effects are not many the projections. our fiscal future is scarier than they show. as spending grows in the coming decades g.d.p. will be suppressed more and more it. it will be like the fiscal death spiral unless we make major
4:49 pm
reforms. these are often discussed by budget easterns in washington. however, all federal spending is spending on particular programs. spending is not just bad because it leads to these problems but spending on particular federal programs causes damage to society and harms individual's freedom and creates all kinds of other problems. the spending is not just the question of $3.6 trillion is too much to spend this year, but the problem is whether spending on these hundreds of particular programs causes damage to society and the economy. that is where the libertarian critique of the budget is different from the normal critique of fiscal conservatives . they focus on the big picture
4:50 pm
issues. i think libertarians are more concerned about the damage done by hundreds of particular program on the economy and on individual freedom. so i'm going to run through eight problems caused by hundreds of program in the federal budget. first, many programs violate constitutional federalism. the federal government was assigned limited powers and most functions are left to state and local governments. today, the federal government sticks its nose into hundreds of activities like urban transit and public housing. there are many problems with this. one of the problems is, when the federal government gets involved in a local activity and it makes a mistake it replicates those mistakes across the country. the federal government spent
4:51 pm
money on funding high-rise public housing. it was a disaster. it destroyed many inner cities and the federal government funding replicated that mistake city after city across the country. the second problem is they reduce individual freedom. obamacare is a great example of this. with all that massive spending power obamacare came all the rules and regulations that are reducing freedom for businesses and individuals. you can take any of my of the programs farm subsidies are a good example. the farmers are happy to take the $20 billion a year they receive but there are rules attached to that. individual farmers take the money but the federal government tells them what to plan, how many acres they can plant and prescribes other rules for them to follow. with more federal spending comes less individual freedom.
4:52 pm
third, many individual spending programs distort the economy, federal housing subsidies helped to create the housing bubble which lead to the recent recession. programs pushes up unemployment. number four many programs are job giveaways, farm subsidies are a good example. frankly, we take $20 billion a year from hard-working taxpayers and give them to high-income farm businesses that is unjust and there are dozen of federal programs that fall into that same category. number five, many programs create social problems. welfare undermine personal responsibility and many other federal subsidies programs do the same.
4:53 pm
they undermine personal responsibility. social security, the biggest program most politics feel warm and fuzzy when they talk about it but it causes social and economic damage. for example, the social security program reduces personal savings in the united states. it increases government dependency that harms society and it harms the economy. personal savings is the seed corn of economic growth. the exestens of social security reduces economic growth. a number six, many of the programs harm the environment. water subsidies pumped out, sugar subsidies great i will damaged the every glareds in florida. -- ever glades in florida. this is nothing new. if you look at the oldest
4:54 pm
programs even in the 19th century there was scandal after scandal with federal spending programs. the army corps of engineer program. they ran over budget, they were pork barrel, these problems are nothing new in washington. they go back to the beginning. number eight, many program don't work. you can look for example, federal job training programs which were put in place by john f. kennedy half a century ago. these program never work. they write about job training programs and find they don't work. these problems go back many m decades. look at some of the oldest subsidy programs that are pumped out by the bureau, we pump out a few billion dollars a year to indians that live on reservations. aside from the reservations where they have gaming,
4:55 pm
reservations continued to be the poorest places in america. this hasn't worked to lift indians out of poverty. this makes sense whether or not we have a federal deficit. even if we had a zero deficit, many program cuts and determination would sbreels g.d.p. and expand -- increase g.d.p. the fiscal conservatives always say they want to cut spending but near i will all the focus in recent years have been trying to impose overall restraint by voting balanced budget. i'm not against the caps but they do not reduce the underlining pressure to spend. the only way to do that is challenge particular programs and make the argument that particular programs are harmful
4:56 pm
and wasteful, unconstitutional, unjust, and unneeded. to make lasting reforms congress needs to make the case to cut many dozens, hundreds of particular programs. if the republicans want to kill funding for big bird they have to make the case for it. they have to lay out the case and push on that for many months or many years to wear down the opposition. so the very few examples in recent decade where is we've been able to cut or limit or reform programs, there has been a build up and we've laid the ground work for it. most famous i will the welfare reform in 1996. it did not just happen. there were decades of studies and books and arguing that the welfare programs were harmful. if we want to cut spending we have to make the case for it. this is going to involve a great
4:57 pm
deal. if we want to cut spending, i think we can in the long run, it will take a lot of work be my individual members of congress targeting and attacking many particular programs and sustaining those challenges to these programs over the months and years. to conclude, it is an open question whether republicans and any fiscal conservatives in the house and senate are willing to do that. are they willing to sustain the attack of dozens of programs over? we shall see. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon, my name is alex no. i want to say this -- nob. senators released their
4:58 pm
blueprint and today the president is in las vegas and supposedly will give a speech later today supporting that plan. now immigration reform is more likely to take place this year than any year since 2007. that was when the last large scale immigration reform was defeated in the senate. i'm going to talk about three broadcom poe innocents, how yesterday's blue print fits and suggests to make it better. by making it better i mean to make it more libertarian. there were three broadcom poe innocents of any large scale -- components of any large scale. sfwretion flow of immigrants through the visa program or other means. this could have the benefits of immigration going forward and provide a legal way for firms to hire the workers they demand.
4:59 pm
the third is to enhance the demand. legal immigration is the most contentious part of this plan. paying back taxes, fees, and other restrictions. they would be able to work here legally above board and then placed on a path for a green card once they declare the border secure. we don't have details but that is the general plan going forward. but the most important part is they cannot be deported unless they crit a real crime. -- commit a real crime. the immigrants brought here by children will not be punished
5:00 pm
with penalties with older immigrants that broke immigration laws. they will get in the back of the line to receive green cards. unauthorize workers unauthorized workers in agriculture will be put on a fast-track system, because a majority of agricultural workers are on authorized immigrants. in some states, as high as it 7%, depending on estimates. this is addressed by the blueprint. that is a solid framework. it offers legalization for peaceful people that will penalize them for breaking balls. -- -- for breaking the laws. american universities in the stem fields, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, would be granted a
5:01 pm
green card upon graduation. this is adopting an older proposal called the stable act. this is a very good move, relatively small by comparison with the size of the system. it also talks vaguely about removing backlogs. if that is similar to a legislative attempts in the past few years, that would mean removing be per country limitations on highly skilled green card and workers coming in. as the system stands now, only 7% are allowed to come from a single country every year, leading to a long backlog for workers from other countries, sometimes longer than a decade. that would be a big improvement to the system. generally, i think most people agree that you need to have a very good reason to have this
5:02 pm
reform effort, and i think this should be extended, not just to immigrants who are educated in the u.s., but highly skilled immigrants from other countries. >> lawyers as well? >> some lawyers. he is a lawyer two times over, and i think the u.s. is better by having him here. bigger and better reform for skilled immigrants, not just for stem but other highly skilled immigrants, which is being contemplated by separate senate bill going forward that would increase visa's for highly skilled workers. it is up about 215,000 from the present limit. both bills, i think should go beyond that, and make large numbers of easily obtainable and plymouth-based green cards available for for an educated workers who pass security and health checks, allowing
5:03 pm
portability for the visa and allowing -- and diminishing the role of foreign sponsorship going forward. the blueprint says that once a guest worker program that works, but also supports increased regulations for visas. the problem is the current visa programs for lower skilled workers, especially farm workers, are so over-regulated that farmers refuse to use them despite their theoretically unlimited numbers. the state of georgia did a survey in 2011 after passing the immigration law, asking why there would not use this, and if you want to hear a lot of soft- spoken softeners use a lot of four-letter words to describe how easy it the system is to use, i recommend checking out their responses. basically, it is too expensive, the regulations are too crazy,
5:04 pm
too extreme, too intrusive. it requires all of numerous government agents on your property at any time, from different agencies, from cis, iec, dol, and other agencies, to investigate. it is not surprising that the visa system is under used. the purpose of the regulations and those proposing the blueprint is to try to protect guest workers from abuse. this is a laudable goal. in the guest worker system that we have now, employers sponsor migrant workers. it is difficult for them to leave their employers or quit. with such a system, it is understandable how some workers could face employer abuse. but the solution is not increased regulations and more government oversight, it is increased visa portability. allowing guest workers to change employers with a minimum of government oversight is the best solution to employer abuse. the ability to quit your job
5:05 pm
without government punishment or the fear of deportation is the best protection a worker has against the employer, and that protection should be extended to guest worker visas and remove an entire there a government bureaucracy. it is also the most important part of the reform if you want to end on authorized immigrants going forward. almost all come here for economic opportunity, allowing a pathway for legal entry into america's labor markets, making it moot for almost all prospective immigrants going forward. the blueprint separates the guest worker visa for dairy and agriculture from other sectors of the economy. while those sectors would wither and die if there were stricter immigration laws, but lower skilled immigrants do not mostly good to agriculture and more. this is not the 1950's. the economy has changed. expanding lower to medium-scale
5:06 pm
but guest worker visas into areas like manufacturing, retail, food preparation, construction, general services would be, i think, a great step forward towards the awarding future unauthorized immigration and allow in certain sectors of the economy to grow. the issue of enforcement is also contentious, but intimately connected with making the lawful immigration system work. the reason why it authorized an aggression occurs is the government has refused to enforce the law. the blue. takes that side and supports the verify -- the blueprint takes that side and supports the e- verify. we do not have authorized kemkers because the government has ferruled to force -- has failed to enforce the law. it is not by itself evidence the government is refusing to enforce the law. the government is expanding, has
5:07 pm
been expanding several years its immigration enforcement activities. from secure communities which started and about 1% american jurisdictions in 2008, which is now 97%, to a border patrol that is nine times larger than it was in 1980. to record deportations the past four years, during the first term of the obama administration. enforcement is up across the board. unlawful behavior and case of emigration is mostly the result of a realistic immigration laws that have the impossible goal of separating mobile people from economic opportunity. if i offered you a job with a wage three times larger than the one you were making now, but you had to move across the country to take it, many of you would consider it, and a decent subsection what actually move to take the job. that is a choice a mexican worker with a high-school
5:08 pm
diploma faces every day -- three times higher wages in the u.s. the difference between all the bus and the mexican worker is that we could legally move across the west for a job while the mexican worker, unless he is closely related to a green card holder or citizen, has no ability to legally enter the u.s. is only other option it is authorized or a legal immigration. it is the lack of immigration laws that take account of reality that is the problem. another policy is the change enforcement of a punishment-only arm of the federal government to funnel. this is out immigration enforcement could play a vital role in any kind of reform. it needs to act as a funnel to guide peaceful and healthy guest workers into the lawful system, screening out and excluding criminals, suspected terrorists, and people with serious communicable diseases.
5:09 pm
what is the precedent for this? there is a long one, 1942-1962. in 1953, 1954, in the middle of the program, when about half a million guest workers are entering the country, there was a serious problem with unauthorized immigration similar to today. the government launched an enforcement program with the very unfortunate name, but in those two years, the government apprehended 1.8 million authorized immigrants. but instead of just deporting them, drove them down to the border, let them take one step over the line into mexico, then step into the u.s. under the program. there were able to step back in and work legally. the government knew their names, knew who they were working for, where they were working and could keep track of them. in some situations, this process
5:10 pm
took place over the course of a day, which is a remarkable turnaround considering how the bureaucracy works today. in some cases, they drove them back to the farms where they were arrested. the government gave them a work permit and knew they were, and that is a great example of law enforcement, immigration enforcement funneling unauthorized workers who were available to be in this system into a legal system. we have the enforcement apparatus to do this well, but we cannot have the legal guest worker visa program to funnel the workers into. the result under the program and this operation was an overnight% decrease in unauthorized border crossings by 1954-1955, -- and over 90% decrease in of the arrest border crossings. today, a large-scale test worker visa program expanded into other
5:11 pm
industries it beside farming i think would accomplish the same goal relatively cheaply. a guest worker program would not directly add to the legal permanent emigration. during the program, very few guest workers transitioned into green cards, mostly through marriage or family reunification. the vast majority of the workers who moved into the u.s. over this time liftback -- moved back to mexico eventually. mexican migration was moved temporarily and circular larry. from 1965 to 1985, there were 27 million entries of on authorized immigrants and 22 million departures, yielding 5 million. in our day and age, with cheap
5:12 pm
international travel, if only the government got out of the way and made it possible, easier, and cheaper with a large-scale test worker visa program. there are numerous pitfalls when it comes to the precarious for immigration reform. respecting the laws import, but so are laws that are worthy of respect. enforcement can be positive, but only one we have good laws that are capable of being enforced in a free society. thank you very much. [applause] >> i know we started a bit late, but i know they would love to take some questions if you could stick around. does anyone have any questions? yes, sir?
5:13 pm
>> would you speak to the concept that there are jobs that americans will not do. in a country with 7.8% unemployment, there are some jobs that are not attractive to them. doesn't the guest worker concept just disport the market and create such jobs? >> i think a guest worker makes the market more responsive and realistic to supply and demand. in the northwest with apple pickers, there has been a record harvest in washington. farmers have increased their wages, and still cannot get the workers they want. you have a situation where you have a lot of unemployed american workers who could do a lot of these jobs, but are
5:14 pm
choosing not to. as a result, a lot of farmers have to let their crops rot on the trees, rocks and the fields, or delve into the black market to higher unauthorized workers. any rule or regulation that makes it so that fruit rot on the trees or the field is a regulation that we should get rid of. we should be allowing employers and workers to make deals to come together when there are situations like these that require it. >> it seems the market could make a correction like that fairly quickly. the cato institute would say that is a distortion of the market. >> it is not a distortion to remove labor market regulations. that moves the market to a more stable place. the market correction would not be higher wages for american workers, but to destroy these industries. how many fruit and vegetable
5:15 pm
producers, which is a labor- intensive industry, would be as large and production as they are now or be up to stay in businesses as they are now if they did not have access to this? there are already increasing their wages dramatically and they're still not getting the workers they want. even in washington or georgia, where they have taken prisoners into the fields and force them to do it, they have prisoners still quit after a day. nothing works like a free labor market. >> i also do a job that americans don't want to do, defending the constitution. but >> perfect, and the last comment? otherwise, we will reject perfect, thank you very much for coming, and please help me think our speakers -- thank our speakers. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
5:16 pm
>> tonight, a discussion of enhanced to irrigation techniques for osama bin laden. here is a portion of that discussion. >> they acknowledged the effectiveness of the program, which ethic is a valid position. this program worked. it played a role, but we should not have done it. that is a valid position. why are people so obsessed with trying to disprove the obvious that we got information? >> let me be a little edgy in my response and point to no human being. and i need this. -- and i mean this. i am putting to the broad american public, the national psyche, not anybody in or out of offices, inside the agency, just you. part of the collective, the
5:17 pm
american citizenry. let me tell you a said cents i never heard as director of the in the state or csa -- let me tell you a sentence i never heard as the director of the nsa or cia -- this is bad, but we can make this work. i could document a lot of conversations that were way on the other side. i think it might be part of the national consciousness, a moral struggle for some citizens or certain part of the national political culture that they are now trying to deal with not that we did it, but they did not mind it. they did not mind it at the time. or they did not mind it strong enough to say that's not overreact, let's be really careful. let me give you the intelligence officers on that, and i will tell you this is winding before
5:18 pm
i do it. we're off took off and put into a situation where we are accused of not doing enough to help people who are in danger. and as soon as we have made people feel safe again, we are accused of doing too much. i realize that is winding and not everybody will share that, but every now and again, and a self pity moment, i'll allow myself that thought. [laughter] >> a discussion on the cia use of enhanced interrogation techniques and the search for osama bin laden at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> i think my experience in the white house led me to realize that, yes, i did have a voice, and using it i could accomplish things.
5:19 pm
having been busy raising children, i don't think i put my mind to anything like that, but when i left the white house, there were so many fine people out there who were willing to help you in your calls, and at that time, i was working of course very hard courts the equal rights amendment. >> the new original series, " ies." lady's close season one begins presidents' day february 18. >> now senators chuck schumer and john mccain reveal additional details of a by additional details of a by carson effort

CSPAN February 2, 2013 4:10pm-5:20pm EST

Series/Special. A discussion on the state of Libertarianism, hosted by the Cato Institute.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 8, U.s. 6, America 4, United States 4, China 3, Roberts 3, Obama Administration 2, Chris Edwards 2, Obama 2, Broadcom Poe 2, Chicago 2, Mexico 2, Florida 2, New York 2, Us 2, John F. Kennedy 1, Nate 1, Cato 1, Obama Ledge 1, Milton Freeman 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:10:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17 (141 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/2/2013